By Rachael Bentley
The Connecticut Department of Transportation conducted a CTfastrak construction tour and project update for the future New Britain Station site last Wednesday, including a ceremonial unveiling of the first CTfastrak “Coming Soon” station sign.
Featured event speakers included CCSU President, Jack Miller, New Britain Mayor, Tim O’Brien, and Connecticut Lieutenant Governor, Nancy Wyman.
Also invited to the event were the members of the construction team, who are in charge of building the $27 million New Britain Station.
The CTfastrak transit project is set to be open for service by early 2015. The groundbreaking ceremony took place back in May of 2012.
The event was hosted by James P. Redeker, the Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner.
“We are looking forward to an exciting partnership with the university because it is university students, the future generations, who will be our riders,” said Redeker. “They are looking for the quality of life that this project will bring.”
According to a press release from The Connecticut Department of Transportation, the 9.4-mile CTfastrak dedicated bus roadway is being constructed on an abandoned railroad corridor from New Britain to Newington Junction and from Newington Junction to Hartford’s Union Station along side the active Amtrak railroad.
The service will also feature shuttle, express and feeder routes that directly access the dedicated roadway, as well as connecting with all local bus routes in the New Britain and Hartford areas. These busses will operate from approximately 4:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.
There will be two stations within walking distance of CCSU; one on Cedar Street and another on East Street.
“This is just another example of how a new transit system can positively transform neighborhoods and help to build a stronger economy,” Wyman explained. “For the recreational use of the new multi-use trail that begins at the New Britain Station to the improved accessibility of the CCSU campus, CTfastrak is definitely on the right track.”
Mayor O’Brien hopes that this project will make real progress in enhancing the look and appeal to live, work, play and access higher education in the New Britain area.
In President Miller’s address, he explained that CCSU students would provide a key service to the CTfastrak.
“ I can guarantee a lot of people will be using this transit system,” said Miller. “We have about 12,000 students in any given semester and 1,500 employees. Only 6,000 of them live either on campus or around the immediate proximity of the campus. All of the rest of those people are potential riders.”
For more general information on CTfastrak and updates on the project’s progress, visit www.ctfastrak.com